The Unity Books bestselling chart for the week ending October 22


The only chart of the best-selling independent books in New Zealand published and available is the list of top 10 sales recorded weekly at Unity Books stores in High St, Auckland and Willis St, Wellington.


1 EM-PA-THY: The human side of leadership by Harold Hillman (Bateman, $ 30)

Merry Corporate Christmas …

2 The power of habit: why we do what we do and how to change by Charles Duhigg (Random House, $ 28)

… And happy corporate year!

Two perfect gifts from CEO Santa. These are apparently in high demand, even in October, as people who read about Empathetic Leadership and Positive Habits get organized.

3 The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (Bloomsbury, $ 25)

Phew! Back in familiar territory: fiction set in ancient Greece, with adventure, romance and just a hint of eroticism.

4 Cuckoo Earth Cloud by Anthony Doerr (Simon & Schuster, $ 35)

The Washington Post (via stuff) provides context, hydration tips and a condemnation:

“Librarians and bookworms throughout time are the heroes of Anthony Doerr’s hugely loaded new novel, Cloud Cuckoo Land. Think of it as a triptych love letter to the millions of readers who have made his previous novel, Pulitzer Prize-winning All the Light We Cannot See, a phenomenal bestseller.

“Once again, Doerr features young people caught in the fires of war, but this time his scene is much larger than the plight of two children in World War II. Cloud Cuckoo Land spans millennia. Wear comfortable shoes and remember to stay hydrated… Yes, libraries are great and we all love books. But the man-made complexity of Cloud Cuckoo Land isn’t enough to add extra depth to Doerr’s simple and laborious theme, a theme that runs through the novel insisting that each character kneel in respectful submission. Ouch. We vehemently disagree, and also vehemently approve, this wonderful novel.

5 Circe by Madeline Miller (Bloomsbury, $ 22)

If you’ve read The Song of Achilles and are looking for more, luckily for you Miller has written a second novel. Circe, the infamous witch of the Odyssey, is recast into “a fierce goddess who, yes, turns men into pigs, but only because they deserve it”. Thanks NPR.

6 Beautiful people, where are you by Sally Rooney (Faber, $ 33)

If you think “Sally Rooney!” Number six? It was not the madness I was promised! “Well, take a look at Wellington.

7 Ottolenghi test kitchen: shelf love by Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad (Ebury Press, $ 55)

We hope you have freekeh, pomegranate molasses, sumac and za’atar on your pantry shelves as the new Ottolenghi has arrived to make your kitchen at least 116% longer and 400% longer. exciting.

8 The Raffles affair: a mystery in Victoria West by Vicki Virtue (Penguin Random House, $ 37)

New detective story by a local writer, inspired by the glamorous Raffles Hotel in Singapore. The novel in turn inspired the Raffles to concoct special cocktails in his honor. Once you have your own booze, is there another corner of success to explore?

Expect a notice next week.

9 The magician by Colm Tóibín (Picador, $ 38)

A novel about the life of German writer Thomas Mann, Brooklyn writer The Master, and Nora Webster.

ten Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead (Fleet, $ 35)

An entertaining heist novel set in 1960s Harlem by the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes. The narrator is a furniture salesman immersed in the world of underground crime.


1 Beautiful people, where are you by Sally Rooney (Faber, $ 33)

2 Cuckoo Earth Cloud by Anthony Doerr (Simon & Schuster, $ 35)

3 Imagine decolonization by Rebecca Kiddle, Bianca Elkington, Moana Jackson, Ocean Ripeka Mercier, Mike Ross, Jennie Smeaton and Amanda Thomas (Bridget Williams Books, $ 15)

We used to joke, “How come Imagining Decolonization is still selling like hot cakes? Every Wellingtonian must own at least three copies now! At this point we are very serious.

4 Ottolenghi test kitchen: the love of shelves by Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad (Ebury Press, $ 55)

5 Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles (Hutchinson, $ 37)

According to NPR: “Amor Towles’ new book is a real ride – The Lincoln Highway follows four kids in a 1948 Studebaker who took the real Lincoln Highway, the first freeway to cross the [United States]. Two of them try to travel to San Francisco to find their mother, the other two want to go the other way, in search of a promised inheritance.

6 What I learned in art school by Megan Dunn (Penguin, $ 35)

A local memoir conceived from essays that combine wicked comedy, banality and tragedy. You can read an excerpt here, but be forewarned – these trials are like a packet of crisps. Once started, it will be difficult to stop.

7 The softness of the water by Nathan Harris (Tinder Press, $ 35)

A new novel set at the end of the Civil War. Over 10,000 Goodreads reviews give it a 4.3-star rating, and one reviewer says, “Beautiful… an instant classic! Truly extraordinary! … A captivating narrative… A heart-wrenching cruelty, loss, sorrow, racial and sexual bigotry… but also full of promise, courage and humanity… Incredible beginnings! “

Maybe all of those ellipses will make you doubt the credibility of this reviewer, so to reassure you: The Guardian liked it, too.

8 Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury, $ 23)

Newly crowned winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, by the author of the wonderful Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. The smaller, more user-friendly edition of Piranesi has just been released, bringing it back to the bestsellers. From the keeper: “Far from seeming overwhelmed by her heritage, the Susanna Clarke we meet here could be an exceptionally gifted newcomer who is unfamiliar with the work of her namesake. If there is any continuity in this elegant and singular novel, it is in its central preoccupation with the very nature of fantasy. It remains a powerful force, but one that can leave us – like Goethe among the ruins – forever disappointed with what is real. “

9 Queer Existence: The Lives of Young Gay Men in Aotearoa, New Zealand by Mark Beehre (Massey University Press, $ 45)

The experience of 27 young homosexuals in Aoteroa, told through photography and oral history. They live in a new era: all these men were born after the Homosexuality Law Reform Act was passed in 1986, and during their lifetime, discrimination in the workplace was prohibited, same-sex relationships were legally recognized and marriage equality was granted. Sam Brooks reviewed it for us here, later tweeting that it was one of his favorite tracks he had written.

ten She is a killer by Kirsten McDougall (Victoria University Press, $ 30)

An exceptional new novel featuring one of the best scenes of a New Zealand novel this year: supermarket shopping during an inexorable apocalypse. (We’re posting this scene and an author’s note next week.)

Here’s a review we included in our most recent report on the Spinoff book:

“The protagonist, a female in her thirties, is intelligent and incredibly self-centered and weird, as you would be. She’s at an IQ point of being a genius and also quite possibly a sociopath. But that’s far from being. the center of the book – I think the message here is more that humanity as a whole is pretty sociopathic.

The plot involves “wealthugees” – the elite who can afford to flee their own ruined countries – and eco-terrorism, and a mysterious teenager who comes to live for a moment with the protagonist. The whole book has a feeling of edges and fractures and knives, of precariousness and how close we are to it all. And also, how when he comes he will feel so Ordinary. “


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